Dog DNA Test: Top Brands & How It Works

DNA testing is such a popular trend these days, especially now that you can have it done for your canine family members too! If you’ve ever looked at your dog and wondered “what exactly are you?” then getting a dog DNA test can be a fun and affordable way to discover your pet’s roots.


Why DNA Test My Dog?

Mutts account for more than half of all dogs in the U.S. and many people DNA test their dogs to find out the exact mix of breeds that make up their pup. Breed information can be valuable in identifying potential medical problems or genetic weaknesses, as well as behavioral traits and your dog’s lineage. And for many people, it’s just fun!


How Does Dog DNA Test Work?

DNA testing is not as expensive as you might think, with kits ranging from $30-$200. As with human DNA testing kits, all that’s needed is a swab from inside your dog’s cheek, or a blood sample drawn by your veterinarian. You order the kit online (or purchase from your vet or pet store), fill in the information, collect the sample, and send it off. Within a few weeks you will receive your pet’s breed breakdown as well as results relating to genetic conditions and even sometimes drug sensitivities. Some kits also offer size predictions and weight guidelines.


Best Available Dog DNA Test

The number of companies offering canine DNA tests is growing and the one you choose should depend on your budget and the information you wish to determine, Some very popular brands are:


  • Embark Dog DNA Test ($189). One of the more expensive tests on the market, Embark offers highly accurate results based on a genetic database of more than 200,000 markers and 160 genetic conditions. The company partners with the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and prides itself on being able to identify genetic conditions better than anyone else.
  • Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit ($84). For the money this is one of the best DNA kits on the market, offering exceptional breed identification based on its breed database, and with a quick turnaround for results.
  • Dog DNA Canine Breed Identification Test Home Cheek Swab Kit ($34). One of the very cheapest tests available, the accuracy of results may not be as good as with the more expensive tests and it does not provide any information on genetic markers, but if all you are interested in is your pet’s lineage then this is a quick and affordable route for you.
  • Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit ($100). One of the earlier versions of the Wisdom Panel range of products, this test is very sensitive for identifying breeds in true mutts. It does not offer the genetic marker testing component of the Wisdom Panel 3.0 test, however, so is really only viable for those not worried about their pet’s health.
  • DDC Veterinary Canine DNA Test ($89+). DNA testing comes in several forms from DDC, including breed testing, parentage testing, DNA profiling, inherent disease testing, inherent traits testing, and verification tests. Buying multiple tests at once gives you discounts and the specificity of tests means you can pick just those that concern you. This is a popular option for breeders and vets looking for medical information in particular.



Over 60,000 mixed-breed dogs in the U.S. now have a personalized family tree. Whether you’re looking for medical information or just want to know why your dog looks the way they do, there is a DNA test out there to suit your needs.